Taskforce permits plane landing for oil companies

By Manyuon Mayen Manyuon

South Sudan High Level Taskforce on Coronavirus (COVID-19) has granted landing permission to the planes owned by oil companies if they wish to fly its workers to their countries of origin.

The decision was reached during the 8th High Level Taskforce meeting in Juba on Monday on the repatriation of Malaysian Oil None Essential workers to their home countries.

The government shutdown Juba International Airport and suspended international flights but granted permission for countries willing to evacuate their nationals.

But the plane must come empty and when the plane arrives, the pilot will remain indoors and their nationals just join them and they go immediately.

The rotation of the UN flights from other countries was accepted if they are evacuating some of their staff needed for any emergencies.

But in a High Level Taskforce meeting chaired by Dr. Riek Machar Teny, the First Vice President (FVP) on Monday adopted new resolution that allowed the oil companies planes to land in Juba if they evacuate its non-essential workers. 

“The High Level Taskforce resolves to grant special landing permission for a plane owned by the oil companies to evacuate their none essential workers,” the statement signed by Dr. Riek Machar, the Deputy Chair of the High Level Taskforce partly reads.

The statement however reaffirmed the maximum closure of Juba International Airport in the face of International flights, being commercial passengers’ plane or private jets.

Juba International Airport authorities have also prohibited the roaming of any allowed cargo pilots in the airport after landing.

Juba International Airport was locked down last week until further notice over deteriorating situation of COVID-19 across the globe and in the neighboring countries.

Only cargo flights were given priority to land the airport but with restrictive measures of abiding to the set guidelines throughout offloading process.

Domestic flights passengers are always subjected to testing upon landing with no exemption according to the Airport Director last week.

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